I'm a teacher, musician, blogger and uni student living in Sydney and always dreaming about living & experiencing a new corner of the world. Visit my blog at www.jessiejournals.wordpress.com.
Published September 10th 2016
Be teleported to Cuba in Sydney
I'm not sure about you, but I love the fact that Sydney offers such diverse cuisines. If you can think of a cuisine, I'm sure somewhere in Sydney would have it, which is why when I mentioned to my friend that I have never tried Cuban food before even though that country is in such a hype at the moment, I began my research and found The Cuban Place.
Located conveniently next to the QVB, once we were outside we immediately noticed the buzzing atmosphere of the place- live music, salsa dancing, mojitos, cars etc. The waitresses all had bright red dresses on, topped off with a bright yellow flower. The waiters all had bright red suspenders. It was exactly what a Cuban restaurant would be like from what I gathered through people's travel blogs.
Being a Friday night, we'd made an early reservation of 6.30pm. We were immediately seated by our smiling waitress for the night. While we took our time to decide on what to have, we were again able to admire the innovative interior that I would describe as 'trendy and hip'.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not too sure how long the food took to arrive, because time just flies by while you're talking and soaking up the lively atmosphere. When everything was placed gracefully onto the table, we could immediately smell the flavours coming out.
My friend ordered a chorizo with nachos ($13) from their snack menu, which I tried some of. There was a generous amount of cheese that accompanied the not-so-spicy chorizos, which for someone like me who has zero tolerance for spicy food, was definitely a huge plus. The nachos were also perfectly cooked to contain lots of flavour and crunch. For some reason, when I looked at The Cuban Place's menu online, this item wasn't there, which goes to show how often they change their menu.
I had a yoghurt braised Australian lamb with melted onion, served with tortilla, tomato salsa and rockets ($32). I was shocked by how much food was on the plate, but of course was determined to finish it all. The lamb shoulders were braised so evenly that no matter how big your bite-size is, it was still easily chewed and swallowed. Whatever ingredients that they used to braise the lamb was also worth mentioning- so flavoursome and so heavenly. Although the lamb was good on its own, having it with the crispy tortilla definitely added an extra layer of diversity. It was exactly what I'd expected Cuban food to be- an amalgamation of Native American, Spanish, African and Caribbean cuisines.
Of course, I wasn't going to go out of The Cuban Place without trying one of their famous Mojitos, so to accompany my meal was a 'Raspberry Flavoured Mojito' ($16). It was very fresh and strong, which contrasted (in a good way) with my meal.
And our wonderful Friday night ended with a bit of salsa dancing in front of the live musicians. Even though the dance floor was packed, I can't imagine having an experience as memorable as this in any other way. I should also note that some diners were able to go out and smoke Cuban cigars on the patio. Ah. It all just seemed like I had been teleported to Cuba.
Overall, it was a night to remember. As far as I know, Sydney doesn't have any other Cuban restaurants, and The Cuban Place seems to be completely booked out every Friday and Saturday nights. I can see why! Even if you're not here to dine, you should still sit yourself at the bar, or simply come in for the live music and buzzing atmosphere.